If you hate cold calling, and even if you don't, you should start capitalizing on the work you’ve already done.
So often we don’t utilize one of the most persuasive selling components in our marketing materials – the words of our own clients. Many creative people have wonderful testimonials from clients, but never use them for fear that they are “bragging” or that it is “too self promotional.”
Well of course it’s self promotional! That’s what good marketing is!
When you are finished a project for a client, why not capture that moment in the client's own words to use for showing potential clients the value of your services? Testimonials are even more crucial for creative businesses because it is more difficult for the average person to set a value on most arts related items and services. Seeing others talk about the value of working with you will help them more readily understand the value of your work.
If your client doesn’t come running to you with a testimonial, then ask her for one. There is nothing wrong with that and most clients are honored you asked them.
The best testimonials are ones that show a measurable goal has been reached and uses language that your potential clients can identify with.
For example, here is a testimonial I received from a client who is an artist:
“I just recently got back from a job I did up in Cape Cod worth over $11,000 and it is because I used the techniques I learned from you to turn a consultation into my biggest job ever.”
-Amy Ketteran, Ketteran Studios
Here's another example of a testimonial I received from a corporate client:
"My improved confidence/speaking skills has helped my career as well as Verizon Connected Solutions since we are now working on developing partnerships/joint ventures with some large manufacturers and I am involved with seminars to promote these potential partnerships. Since I began working with Kirstin I’ve had several speaking opportunities and I can tell you her methods work. In fact, because of my work with Kirstin, I gave testimony in court that caused VCS to win a nearly $1 million lawsuit with customer who refused to pay. I can’t thank Kirstin enough!"
-Ed Ruby, Director of Business Operations
Verizon Connected Solutions
If you have testimonials, but they are not measurable, then they aren’t as persuasive as they need to be in order to sell a future client. To get measurable testimonials, all you have to do is ask for them. If you receive a testimonial from a client that isn’t measurable and doesn’t show a specific example of how that client has improved since working with you, then thank the client for the kind comments and ask him to narrow down the success to one or two specific items that are improved due to your work together.
You can respond with something like:
“Thanks for your feedback. It’s wonderful to hear about your success. What specifically has improved during our work together? Were you able to measure the difference?”
The more measurable the testimonial, and the more the client speaks in his own words, the more persuasive it is to the potential client, and the easier it is to generate new business.
Review your client list and look back over recent projects. Ask your best clients for measurable testimonials. It’s a whole lot easier than making a cold call!